• 20 Organizations, including BHRN, call on DASSK to Ensure the Rights of Burmese Muslims

    3 August 2017 London, UK – The Burma Human Rights Network and 19 other Organizations have issued a letter to Burma’s State Chancellor, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, calling on the Burmese Government to ensure the rights of Burmese Muslims following a spat of anti-Muslim incidents inside the country. The incidents, many of them broadly documented by rights groups and local and foreign media, involved efforts by ultra nationalist and authorities to limit the ability of Muslims to freely practice their religion inside of the country. The undersigned includes a variety of ethnic and religious groups in and outside of Burma concerned about the rise of religious nationalism in the country.

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  • Report: Several Anti-Muslim Incidents Signal Worrying Trend in Yangon

    15 May 2017, LONDON, UK

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    • On 21 April a group of Buddhist ultra-nationalists disrupted a mass prayer by Muslims at an Islamic school in Tharkayta Township
    • On 28 April, the same groups protested the same Islamic school, as well as another nearby Islamic school, and ultimately pressured police to allow them to seal the schools shut
    • Those involved in the protests came from both the Yangon area and cities significantly far away
    • On May 9th a mob of ultra-nationalists involved themselves in a search for Muslims living illegally in Yangon, which turned violent when no illegal residents were found
    • Two men were said to have been attacked when the mob became upset. One Muslim man had to go to the hospital after he was attacked
    • The ultra-nationalist groups have previously protested Islamic schools in Tharkayta being used to host prayers
    • Ultra-nationalists have previously prevented the celebration of the Birthday of the Prophet of Islam by local Muslims
    • Police issued arrest warrants for 7 nationalists involved in the 9 May incident. Two of them are said to be monks. Two have been arrested
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Press Release: Continuing Tensions around Tharkayta Islamic Schools

3rd May 2017, London, UK – On April 28th two Islamic schools in the Township of Tharkayta, an eastern suburb of Yangon where approximately 50,000 Muslims live, were sealed off and closed by a group of Buddhist Ultra-Nationalists. The group was upset that the schools were being used to host prayers, which they claimed were in defiance of restrictions previously imposed by authorities against the schools. Witnesses told BHRN that the mob was as large as 150 ultra-nationalists, and The Irrawaddy reported a brawl taking place at the scene. The incident took place on a Friday, which is a holy day for prayer for Muslims. The Irrawaddy also said their reporter on the scene was threatened by the nationalists when he approached them for comment, then forced to leave the scene. The schools are located on Anawmar 11 and 12 streets.

“Authorities have failed to protect the country’s minority Muslim population and have consistently complied with the demands of Buddhist-nationalist extremist groups. The actions of the extremist groups have clearly undermined the rule of law and are part of an increasing trend of groups targeting Muslims. Due to the failure of the authorities to take action against Buddhist extremists, Muslims in Burma are vulnerable to vigilante attacks, civilian level persecution and denial of access to fundamental human rights. Worse still is that the failure by the authorities to take any action against the extremist groups will encourage them to commit further attacks,” said Executive Director Kyaw Win of BHRN.

 The scene apparently lasted for hours, where a mob gathered at the schools protesting their use for Friday prayer. Police reportedly stood by as the protests occurred and finally allowed the protesters to chain the entrances to the schools. As of now there is no indication by authorities when the schools will be allowed to reopen.

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BHRN and 22 Organizations Call on The International Community to Pressure Myanmar to Give Full Access to UN-Mandated Fact Finding Mission

27th April 2017, London, UK – The Burma Human Rights Network and 22 Organizations and Individuals have released an open letter calling upon The United States, United Kingdom, and the member states of the European Union, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to strongly encourage the Myanmar government to fully cooperate with the forthcoming Fact-Finding Mission into the human rights situation in Rakhine State, as well as Kachin and Shan States, as recently mandated by the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The undersigned are: Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM), Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), ALTSEAN-Burma, Amnesty International, Burma Campaign UK (BCUK), Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN), Burmese Muslim Association (BMA), Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Civil Rights Defenders, International State Crime Initiative, Fortify Rights, Geutanyoe Foundation, Global Peace Mission Malaysia, Gusdurain Network Indonesia, Human Rights Now, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Majlis Perundingan Pertubuhan Islam Malaysia (MAPIM), Malaysian Humanitarian Aid and Relief (MAHAR), Refugees International, Restless Beings, The Arakan Project and Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)

The UN Fact-Finding Mission is largely in response to events following October 9th of 2016 when a new wave of atrocities began after an attack on three border guard police outposts near the City of Maungdaw. The attacks resulted in the deaths of nine police officers.

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The Humanitarian Crisis Beneath the Conflicts: Report detailing dire humanitarian needs in Burma’s Rakhine and Kachin States

Executive Summary:

  • Conflict in Burma’s Rakhine and Kachin States have internally displaced nearly 140,000 and 100,000 respectively
  • The UN’s World Food Program (WFP) in Burma is currently running with a funding gap of USD $37 million
  • The UN’s Office for Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) is currently facing a funding gap of USD $138.1 million required for their Humanitarian Response Plan for Burma
  • In 2015 the World Health Organization (WHO) found children in Maungdaw had prevalence of 45.7% of global chronic malnutrition with 21% prevalence of severe chronic malnutrition
  • In November 2016 the UN estimated that 70,000 people were in immediate need of food and that 30-50% of children with severe acute malnutrition in the area were at imminent risk of dying
  • The BHRN working in Rakhine State found unregistered IDPs (internally displaced persons) suffering tremendous humanitarian needs throughout the state
  • In Kyauktaw the BHRN received current information on aid distributed to 10 Rohingya Villages. Most contained villagers not receiving aid despite strong needs, including some villages where the vast majority were without aid
  • IDPs from Rathetaung Township complained of similar cuts and individuals being denied food rations. In some cases villagers said WFP told them food rations would be reinstated, but this has not yet happened

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